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Episode 28

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This week we visit Deep Space 9, pick up some new ships, and then take a dip into the Badlands.

At Level 40, players get access to Tier 5 ships, which are the end-game vessels. Now, there are still a bunch of ships that you can only get at Level 50. That said, however, regardless of whether they’re L40 or L50 usable, they’re all balanced against each other; it’s arguable that the lockbox ships are some of the best ships in the game, and they’re only usable at L40! But “best” is debatable, since it’s all tradeoffs, things I’ll probably talk more about as we get to max level.

Not counting lockbox ships, then, once you hit L40 you actually get two different ship choices, each focusing on a separate secondary class. Science Vessels and Cruisers also get some C-Store options; two of which are upgraded versions of T3 ships, and one is an entirely new design. And if you were able to complete Temporal Ambassador during the third anniversary, you also got a L40 version of the Ambassador. Amusingly, Escorts do not have any alternates at L40 that do not come from a lockbox or other special event, however on the other hand it also has the MOST of these ships, compared to any other Federation ship category.

For me, I upgrade to the Patrol Escort line of ships, which has Engineering as it’s secondary focus, giving more Engineering power and console slots, as opposed to the other L40 Escort, the Advanced Escort which focuses on Science. The Patrol Escort has an uncommon distinction for being one of the few pre-L50 ships in the game that actually has no skin that’s based on a canon ship. The Advanced Escort, on the other hand, is based on the U.S.S. Prometheus.

For Mecha, he was originally planning to upgrade to the Reconnaissance Science Vessel, which has Tactical as it’s secondary focus. This class of ships is also arguably all non-canon ships, other then the fact that the leading example of the model of ship this category represents is the U.S.S. Titan, from the Titan series of novels. The other category of ships here, however, the Deep Space Science Vessel, is entirely non-canon designs.

However, he actually chose to pilot the Advanced Research Vessel Retrofit, which is a C-Store ship, and an upgraded version of the Nebula-class. He’s only flying this one because the Nebula was given away as the final free ship as part of the Summer event finale. In my opinion, the T5 Nebula is the best ship for a support Science captain to fly, though the Vulcan D’Kyr might be a close second. Or you get lucky with lockboxes, in which case the Wells is also an option.

Going back to lockbox ships, one of the prizes from each lockbox is a Mirror Universe variant of the normal L40 ships. These variants are actually kind of confusing to deal with, as they are basically taking the names and stats of the L40 ships and swapping them, leaving the skin alone. In other words, a Mirror Universe Patrol Escort is actually a Prime Universe Advanced Escort, but with a different name and the Patrol Escort’s BOff and console slots. The benefit of this system is that if you really like the look of one of the L40 variants, but don’t like their slot loadout, you can get the Mirror Universe one instead to get the opposite type. And since these ships are not really a big deal, they tend to be really cheap on the Exchange; I regularly see them around 60k Energy Credits, which is pretty dirt cheap when you get to max level and start doing repeatable content.

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